Greek Lion Hemidrachm Pendant

Item #9974
$640.00

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  • Obverse: Lion
  • Reverse: Incuse Square
  • Date: 386 338 BC, Grade: Very Fine
  • Mint: Cherronesos, Thrace
  • Silver Hemidrachm Coin in 14k Gold Pendant
  • Pendant Size: 16mm Diameter, Weight 5g
  • Size Chart

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Description:

The ancient city of Cherronesos was located along the shore of the Black Sea in the Northern Greek region of Thrace. This small silver coin called hemidrachm, or half of a silver drachm, was hand struck here in the middle of the 4th century BC, during the Classical Greek period. The obverse of this coin depicts the front half (or forepart) of a lion, bounding to the right and reverting his head to look back. Interestingly, only the front half of the lion is shown, most likely to indicate that it is a half denomination.
The lion was not indigenous to Greek lands, however the lion was still a popular beast renowned for its power and hunting prowess. Lions have been depicted in Greek art for centuries before coins were minted and were especially prized by the Romans, who later used them in the gladiatorial games they held in the Coliseum.
This style of coinage was not used everywhere in the Greek world, but was popular at this time in the northern areas of the Greek territories. The reverse is unique as of the four squares, two are raised and two are sunken. These incuse squares were used on the early Greek coinage to hold the coin in place for the hammer strike on the obverse.